LHM’s Finishing Options

Karat Gold, Mock Gold, Stains, Exotic Woods, Lacquer Finishes, and much more.
"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment." - Claude Monet

Outwardly any custom or bespoke casegood has the potential to be refinished and modified, our finishing options, beyond being quite expansive, exponentially increase as tone, luster, sheen, luminescence, gamma, pigment, leaf, stain, etc – all come together for a desired finish. Below we account for what is expedient, along with what we think best modifies each particular type of finish. Finish samples are made available upon receipt of order, we work tirelessly and effectively to match or created fine custom finishes for every project we are blessed to partake in. As always, please email team@lionheartmirrors.com, if you should have any questions beyond the below selections, also feel free to call, fax, mail us.

Karat Gold Leaf & Other Precious/Semi-Precious Metals

10 Karat

Ghost Gold

Dissimilar from its commonly used white gold counterpart in 12 karat, 10 karat gold leaf is pale, but has subtle accents of grey. Otherworldly!

18 Karat

Green Gold

This karat gold leaf isn’t used often, certainly not in hospitality or our museum framing. There is a range of green gold, from 12 karat, known as citron gold, along with light green gold, a shade lighter at 16 karat.

22 Karat

Moon Gold

With a bronze and silver shimmer occurring simultaneously, moon gold offers a unique karat gold appearance, and is stunning if matte or burnished.


Caplain Gold

Palladium is a rare metal, similar to platinum, known for its silvery-white hue, and burnishes brighter than platinum. It is also harder and lighter than platinum, making it ideal for leafing. Caplain leaf is both karat gold and palladium.

12 Karat

White Gold

Most specify white 12 karat gold leaf, it is distinct from alternate white karat gold leaf in the next column, as its hue is less yellow. Contemporary frames if not in a clear bright 22 karat, often are noted to look “second” best when double gilded in 12 karat gold leaf.

13.25 Karat

*White Gold*

Appearing a bit more yellow in hue, this white gold karat leaf is seldom chosen as a finish. But we recommend if needing to repeat some design of a yellow hue, then this is perfect, even a landscape with yellowish tones.

99.9% Purity


Platinum leaf is a more difficult metal to cost compared to gold and sometimes is not readily available. It is a heavier leaf than standard gold leaf, weighing at a minimum of 32g per leaf. Expensive tastes insist, and this finish is one of the most extravagant.

23 Karat

Florin Gold

While not as heavy as a florentine florin itself, this leaf is about the least yellow of all genuine karat gold leaf. It is almost on the bronze side, but not darker than a darker yellow gold, below.

22 Karat*

*Dark Yellow Gold*

Dark yellow 22 karat, as opposed to bright 22 karat. Set apart from its “bright yellow” counterpart, given its contrasting lightness, appearing a bit more orange, of course with luminosity remaining, which all real karat gold provides. Better for aged-appearing finishes.

22 Karat

Bright Yellow Gold

The most commonly used karat gold leaf by professionals for period specific custom framing, this regal looking gold has a shine and brightness of history. However is often antiqued so it shares likeness to frames aged by time, nonetheless when applied without antique or accoutrement, it is stunningly shimmering. What most know gold to look like, like gold bars.

23 Karat

Red Gold

Nearing an almost copper-like hue, red gold serves various design functions, along with framing finishing. Known at LionHeart as Mars Leaf, because of its color and alien application.

99.9% Purity


Sharing properties with silver, but abundantly more rare, palladium is a soft silver-white metal that resembles platinum, with some indication of greys. Its properties are quite unique, in terms of its absorption of light.

Note that karat gold leaf finishes are typically not specified for orders of any significant quantity. Price fluctuates, dependent on the market rate. However we can accommodate metal leaf alloy finishes that have a noticeable resemblance but will of course lack the qualities of gold, which cannot be replicated, for example its luminance. And note that techniques used to create mock gold finishes, have a three to five year life, before the finish will fade.

999 Millesimal Fineness


The standard for brilliant white metallic luster is silver. Sharing characteristics of gold and copper, it has many finishing options pertaining to a slew of changes. Interestingly silver is not a colored metal.

Antique Black on Gold

Gold Aging

Like all antique types available, a standard black would be specified as light, medium, or heavy, and sometimes extra heavy. All order finishes must be approved before any frame or framed mirror enters finishing.

Rotten Stone on Gold

Pseudo Patina

Often it is noted incorrectly that gold frames will have a patina, and it is only true as it relates to the surface on top of the gold, not the gold itself. Gold does not patina like other metals, it does not rot. The patina of the surface is desirable for old looking finishes on gold, and this is achieved by way of rottenstone, a powder mixed with alcohol, giving that patina look often noted. Blue twist line demarcates gold and then layering of rottenstone.

Distress, Fly Specs


Aged finishes can be requested to accompany some rough history, if any design suits it. Noted, labeled B above, is a representation of gouging and scratches, while C indicates wormholes. Labeled at A, fly specs. Quite literally this flecked finish finish detail has origins in its eponymous name, as flies would tarnish stored frames with their comings and goings.

Burnished versus Matte

Reflect or Not

Atop the image above you will see matte karat gold leaf, this has a dullness because it has not been burnished with agate, a silica based material tool. Shown here. Below you see burnishing on karat gold that brings out luster and shine, giving it reflection. If not treated to represent a period, and if modern, some choose a shiny gold modern frame. Though not typical.

Agate Burnishing Tool

Wheat Wash on Gold


Sometimes referred to as a brown wash, a wheat wash is a brownish pigment brushed over the surface of gold or to antique white/metal leaf. It can also act as a bronze-like tone to gold. In terms of a texture, it isn’t the most controllable application. Less is more, but this modification can be specified from light to heavy.